Saturday, July 19, 2008

It's Finally Here...

Well, the Minstrel finally arrived...

Beautiful, isn't it?

It was the biggest pain in the rear-end to put together, as the instructions were the most poorly-written instructions known to man (I think it took me over two hours and I'm usually a whiz about putting things together).

After a few minutes of testing out the double drive I was off and running. First off, I started spinning some fine singles for sock yarn out of some reject BFL I had kept just for this occasion. After a while I grabbed my Amazon fiber batts from Fiber Monster on Etsy and I spun and plied this gorgeous 93 yard skein of worsted weight 2-ply.

I hardly ever spin anything heavier than DK weight, but I have to say...

... I loves it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sick of Socks...

Well, here they are...

... The monkeys are done.

Today I'm planning on digging out the only unfinished pair of socks I have left and resuming working on them. It leaves me feeling a little queasy. I should be excited that I only have one pair of socks left to finish (if I really work on them in every spare minute I may actually reach my goal of finishing all unfinished socks before the wheel arrives on Friday), but I don't even want to look at them.

Last night I found myself reading in one of the forums on Ravelry about different methods of color knitting (knitting with both hands vs. knitting with one/knitting with or without the use of a fingerthimble), and I realized that I have more of a desire to pick up my unfinished ugly Christmas sweater and work fair isle than I do to knit one more stinking pair of socks. I am going to pick them up and finish them regardless of how I feel right now (because I do want them done) but after they're done, I'm tempted to swear off socks 'till fall.

I also really mean what I said about the fair isle knitting, too. Last night when I was reading I came across a discussion about the Norwegian Purl. I'd never heard that term before, so I went straight to You Tube and found this video of it, and so I picked up my knitting and tried the stitch out left-handed, and it really does work very nicely. The only thing I don't like about continental-style knitting is purling and the Norwegian method of purling solves the problem for me. I'm really glad I came across this technique because I do love the look of fair isle and some day (hopefully not too far off) I want to do a bohus sweater, which I think would be undesirably challenging if I wasn't comforable with my two-handed fair isle knitting.

Aside from the knitting, I'm going to use today to catch up on my housework. My husband had the last three days off from work and my little one and I have been sick since Thursday morning. Today is the first day I've woke up feeling like myself and my little one still has a runny nose and cough. I can hardly see the floor of my laundry room.

Where's a good house elf when you need one?

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's almost here...

I think it's time for me to be cut off from buying any more fiber (for a while).

In preparation for the new wheel, I've been buying some fiber here and there, and I've really put together a fantastic bit of rovings (like maybe 10) between my own rovings and those from other etsy sellers. The only thing really bumming me out about these rovings is that I don't see how I can justify holding on to all of them. Normally, I always keep the handspuns made from Etsy rovings (from other sellers) for my own personal stash. It doesn't seem very cost effective to sell them and it's hard enough selling and shipping away the handspun I've done from my own rovings. I'm thinking I'll have to pick one or two for keepsies and then the rest are going in the shop.

I also ordered about 1 1/2 pounds of different fibers for dyeing and spinning (I really got to splurge big because of the generous fiber credit that came with the purchase of my wheel). So that should be a lot of fun. Though, I am going to try to make it through my pile of rovings before I dye and spin the rest.

Also, as of yesterday morning I placed the order for my wheel. Today I was sent a tracking number with UPS and my wheel is scheduled to be here next Friday. Would anyone care to guess how I'm going to be spending the majority of my time next weekend?

I'm stoked!!!! The not-spinning window of time is almost up!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Here are hubby's socks. All done. I finished them late last night. I'd say I'm surprised they took me so long, after all they're such a fast knit, but that would be a lie. I know myself too well. I can have one sock in a pair finished and the other pair finished except for the toe, and if something else comes along asking for my attention I'll set them down and abandon them for 3 1/2 weeks.

Now that these are done, I'm going to rummage through my drawer of UFOs to cast on for the second monkey sock (I think I finished the first monkey sock back in May). After that, I'm going to finish my Vintage KAL socks. I should have had those finished a couple of weeks ago, but I pushed them further down the list to make room for Hubby's socks and the impromptu baby sweater he asked me for.

Speaking of baby sweaters, it's been a long time since I went all out and splurged on knitting books, but either late this week or early next week I can be expecting a whole lot of them. Knitpicks is having a sale through early August: 40% off their entire stock of books. Considering that most of the books I covet for my collection are all expensive (for me that would be $25.00 and up) I used the sale as justification to go a little crazy.

I ordered The Best of Interweave Knits, Debbie Bliss Special Knits, Selbuvotter A Biography of Knitting Tradition, Things I Learned from Knitting Whether I Wanted to or Not, The Opinionated Knitter and Knitter's Almanac. Seriously, this is a lot of book spending for me, but totally worth it. I don't think I'll be even remotely tempted to buy another knitting book for a long, long time. I think I made some pretty good choices, too. How could I possibly go wrong with Elizabeth Zimmerman?

Speaking of spending money... It's only a few more days before I order my new spinning wheel. The Joy was sold last Thursday and shipped out this Monday- all the way to Virginia, too. The lady who bought her was an absolute sweetheart to work with. I'm happy to say that the process of selling her the wheel restored my faith in humanity a little (I had faith before, but now I have just that much more). I'm glad to have the process almost done with and I'm looking forward to having the new wheel come. I have been preparing for its arrival by splurging on fiber from my fellow sellers on Etsy. Besides the few I've already gathered from Allspunup and FiberMonster, I just ordered yet another from Allspunup and one from FatCatKnits. They're all going to be beautiful. I'm stoked.

Well, until the wheel does get here I've plenty going on around the house. My daughter celebrated her 5th birthday on Monday and we're having a party for her this weekend.

We're still working on the house. My hubby has much of the outside of the house all spiffed out now- It's looking very nice. I'm going through closets and drawers, throwing things out and boxing things up for goodwill. I still have a lot to do. I'm so thankful to have the wheel sold, and I am (sadly) benefitting greatly from having it out of the house. I'm getting a lot more done than I would if it were here. I'm a little ashamed of it but it's the truth.

So off I am to do some more (I'm thinking there's still hope for me yet)!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I can't take it anymore....

Okay, that's it. I'm done with waiting. I'm not entirely sure what happened, but the buyer I had for the Joy has gone MIA. The Joy is still here, waiting to be shipped. As of Friday I'm re-listing her for sale, but this time there will be a stipulation: I'm spinning on her while I wait for her to sell.

I'm just going to include the stipulation in my listing, and make sure that anyone wishing to buy her knows that they may have to wait 2-3 days for me to finish something up and get her shipped out.

Not having a new wheel isn't really bugging me, but having over 2 pounds of fiber waiting to be spun with no way of spinning it is.

P.S. As of Friday afternoon, the Joy will be available for purchase again. If you find yourself reading this and are interested in buying her, please feel free to contact me! =)